Vinegar Bend, AL Head On Train Collision, Jan 1908

DISASTER OCCURS ON A. & M., A LUMBER LINE EAST OF VINEGAR BEND.

TWO TRAINS MET HEAD-ON.

DETAILS ARE MEAGER BUT IT IS KNOWN THAT SEVEN WERE KILLED.

TWO WHITE MEN AND FIVE CONVICTS NUMBERED AMONG THE DEAD -- ENGINEER IS SAID TO BE FATALLY INJURED -- ROAD IS OWNED BY TURNER BROS. AND OPERATED AS A PASSENGER AND LOGGING LINE BETWEEN LEAKESVILLE AND VINEGAR BEND, 30 MILES FROM MOBILE.

Special to The Journal.
Mobile, Ala., Jan. 10. -- In a disastrous wreck on the Alabama and Mississippi Railroad, twelve miles west of Vinegar Bend, Ala., a town about 30 miles from here, at 7:30 o'clock this morning between a west-bound passenger train and an extra freight, bound east, seven persons are reported killed and a number injured.
The collision occurred on a bridge spanning a ravine at a very sharp curve. The force of the collision caused both engines and part of the equipment to crash through the trestle to the bottom of the ravine fully 20 feet below.

Death List Placed at Seven.
A later report reaching here is that the number killed is seven.
The dead:
CHARLES BUSBY, section foreman of the road.
MR. PAYNE, a white man.
Five negro convicts.
The injured:
Engineer FRANK MARKS was not dead at noon, but is reported fatally injured.
Details of the frightful collision are meager. There is no absolute certainty as to the number killed and injured, but it is known that Engineer MARKS and his fireman were caught under the falling engine. The engineer and fireman of the extra freight are reported to have saved themselves by jumping when seeing the approaching passenger train when rounding the curve at the scene of the wreck.
Reports reaching here from Vinegar Bend, the nearest point to the scene of disaster, are to the effect that considerable excitement prevails there through the reports of the number killed and injured. Physicians and help in charge of the officials of the road left Vinegar Bend shortly after the wreck on hand cars and other available vehicles to render assistance.
The Alabama and Mississippi Railroad is a small road running from Leakesville, Miss., to Vinegar Bend, Ala., and is owned by the Turner interests of this city and of Vinegar Bend. It is principally a logging road operated in the interests of the extensive lumber business of the territory.
The westbound passenger train of the Alabama and Mississippi Railroad left Vinegar Bend, Ala., this morning about 7 o'clock bound west for Leakesville. Twelve miles west of Vinegar Bend the road turns sharply and the greater portion of this curve is made up of trestling that spans a ravine and a small brook at the bottom.
Bowling along at a fair rate of speed with a number of passengers, the passenger train took the curve and trestle just as an extra freight train came into view on the opposite end. Before Engineer MARKS could bring his train to a stop both trains met head-on in the very center of the trestle.
Simultaneously with the collision the trestle gave way, and both engines and trains crashed through, falling to the bottom of the ravine. On the logging train were a number of convicts, as were also others on the passenger train, going to various points operated along the road by the Turner interests. Several of these convicts are reported under the wreckage.
Engineer MARKS resides at Vinegar Bend, Ala., where he has a wife and several children. He has the distinction of pulling the first train over the road sixteen years ago. The names of the others reported killed cannot be ascertained at this time.
As soon as the news of the wreck was received at Vinegar Bend, all available physicians there and a number of other persons were placed on the hand car and hurried to the scene. There are conflicting reports as to the number injured. Some place, the number at ten, and others as high as fifteen. Whether the entire trestle went down under the trains is not known. There is nothing definite as to the coaches that followed the engine in its frightful crash to the bottom of the ravine.

Pensacola Times Florida 1908-01-11